Christian Long

David Gallo: Shows Underwater Astonishments

In TED Talks on May 12, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Extra credit reflection by KEITH C.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

David Gallo:  Shows Underwater Astonishments

I found this video to on that can be watched over and over again and still be fascinated. I also think that it is a video that anyone can enjoy. Just the sheer uniqueness of the video and how it depicts the abnormal behaviors of marine life makes it unlike any video I have ever seen.

At the beginning of the video David shows several clips of strange organisms found at the dark depths of the sea. It was here that these mysterious creatures were discovered. These creatures used bioluminescence to glow in the dark. David says that they use this glowing characteristic to avoid being eaten and others use it to attack prey. The appearance of these bizarre animals is unlike anything a have seen before. When you see they way that they move and the light schemes that the produce it is something that you would expect to seen on a screensaver, not some fish in the ocean. He then explains how we have only explored three percent of what it inhabiting the ocean. It is unbelievable to think about how many species of fish we have uncovered, and then hear that we have only explored three percent! Once you realize the possibilities and potential of that ninety-seven percent, it is utterly mind blowing.

Then David switches the topic to another interest of his that resides in a more shallow area of the ocean. The focus of this new topic is the Cephalopods, or “head-foots” as David would say. He then goes on to explain there amazing way the octopus blends in with its surroundings. In the video clip, the octopus simply glides over to its desired location on the coral, and the slowly fades away into the color of the coral. When the octopus has completely settled there is no visual distinction between it and the coral surrounding it. At the end of the video another video of an octopus is shown that is even more jaw dropping. The camera slowly moves in on a seemly empty ocean floor with a few clusters of algae. All of a sudden as the camera gets right next to the algae, it suddenly changes color and a white octopus appears. There is no possible way that anyone who hasn’t seen that clip would be able to predict that was going to happen. The octopus was so unbelievably hidden that it was almost to the point of frightening when it suddenly appeared. The fact that the octopus not only matched the color of the algae, but it also the brightness, pattern, and even the texture of the algae made it completely invisible.

He then moves on to squid. David explains that male squid often turn a white color when fighting other male squid. However this concept does not become truly astonishing until the next clip shows how the squid actually hides its white side to the female. As the female moves towards the other side of the male he switches his colors to wear she only sees the tan ‘gentle’ side of him. At the same time, the male squid is showing his white ‘aggressive’ side to all of the on looking males. To me this is remarkable.

One last thing I would like to point out about this video is the simplicity of it. I feel like this video is just long enough to serve it purpose. I’m not saying that the other Ted videos that are longer are not as interesting, just that this timeframe fits the subject. I feel like there were no slow points in this video and that it was constantly exhilarating. Also the way David occasionally slips in bits of comic relief that come at the perfect time. He has the ability to talk to awe the audience and in the very next moment he has then laughing as he smoothly slides into the next transition.


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